E-bibles (or document bibles) are commonly used by legal firms to organize case documents to share with clients at the end of a deal or to store within their internal libraries.
As Chinese law firms start to store their e-bibles in the cloud, they have brought along with them their clients in adopting best practices of storing, indexing and deep searching of large volumes of documents.A project with many moving parts, we recommend adopting practical project delivery best practices with these 3 key topics:
- Digital and Print Merging
- Data Management for Classification and Indexing
- Project Implementation Process
1. Digital and Print Merging
Optical Character Recognition (OCR) technology is key in delivering print to digital documents. As many final documents contain company stamps and signatures and supporting documents being in hard copy, applying OCR software to digital documents should come hand-in-hand from the start of a project. The goal is to fully convert paper documents to being 100% text searchable documents.
2. Data Management for Classification and Indexing
Even when hard copies are text searchable, a pain point for many is that a search process is often inundated with search results that may not be relevant. In many cases, you will need to speak to someone familiar with the transaction, if they are still around, to identify your required documents. While not ideal, this is the reality of most document searches. Classification by deal type and keywords for indexing sets the basis for easy searching. In addition, executive summaries should be revisited and updated if necessary, to be concise and to allow readers a rapid appreciation of the transaction content. As transactions get more global in nature, it is best to have keywords and summaries in both English and Chinese.
3. Project Implementation Process
The key to ensuring that project sponsors and stakeholders achieve their desired outcome is to conduct a Conference Room Pilot (CRP) earlier in the project implementation phase. Key users will be able to visualise the process and results, while the project team identifies and addresses gaps. CRP2 prior to User Acceptance Testing (UAT) and finally the End User Training is also vital. With training, users will easily locate, view and print the information they need – and use the e-bible as a dedicated and reliable reference source.
Taking it a Step Further with Analytics
With a treasure trove of data in their hands, firms not only solve the issue of easy sharing and access, but can also take the opportunity to use their data in spearheading future data analytics projects down the line.